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January 11, 2011
9:50 AM

CONTACT: Witness Against Torture

Frida Berrigan, 347-683-4928, frida.berrigan@gmail.comHelen
Schietinger, 202-344-5762,

Today is Day of Action Against Torture, Rally at White House, Demo at Justice Department

Opening of 11-Day "Fast for Justice" Demanding Closing of Guantanamo

WASHINGTON - January 11 - In an 11 am rally at the White House, organized by Witness Against Torture, human rights activists will kick off 11 days of action to close the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo and end torture. After a “prisoner march” from the White House to the Department of Justice, one group of anti-torture activists will demand a meeting with DoJ officials, while others will engage in non-violent civil disobedience.

Today's actions are just the beginning of a new campaign to close Guantánamo. Over 100 people around the country have signed up for the 11-day, liquid-only Fast for Justice. Close to 50 fasters will be in Washington for the duration of the fast, where their activities will include:

  • Holding daily vigils at the Justice Department,
  • Lobbying the White House and members of Congress, and
  • Marking Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday with a vigil for Pfc. Bradley Manning in Quantico, VA.

All activities are aimed at placing the issues of torture and indefinite detention in the consciences and hearts of people in the Nation’s Capital. For a schedule of the fast, daily updates, and to learn about the fasters, go to

Who We Are:  In December 2005, Witness Against Torture drew international attention after its members walked to Guantánamo to visit the prisoners. Since its return, the group has organized vigils, marches, nonviolent direct actions, and educational events to expose and decry the administration's lawlessness, build awareness about torture and indefinite detention, and forge human ties with the prisoners at Guantánamo and their families.


Witness Against Torture is a grassroots movement that came into being in December 2005 when 24 activists walked to Guantanamo to visit the prisoners and condemn torture policies. Since then, it has engaged in public education, community outreach, and non-violent direct action. For the first 100 days of the Obama administration, the group held a daily vigil at the White House, encouraging the new President to uphold his commitments to shut down Guantanamo.


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